Changing climate of Christmas
WHILE most local church leaders prepare classic Christmas sermons about the birth of Jesus, at least two are taking not so traditional approaches.
Lismore Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett’s Christmas message for 2009 has a political slant, focusing on climate change.
“The news and media in recent months have been dominated by the debate on climate change, driven by evidence put forward by science experts that unless we all act to save the planet from the effects of global warming the wellbeing of future generations will be in jeopardy,” he said.
“There’s nothing like a common fear to spur human beings into acting before it’s too late.
“Passions can be stirred and policies devised that appear like secular parallels to religious beliefs and dogmas, but turning out to depend more on blind faith than balanced with cool reason.”
Bishop Jarrett urged the public to put their faith in God to deal with climate change.
“We can’t save ourselves, even our material environment, even if all the wisest human beings using all the wealth and resources of the world devoted themselves for lifetimes to the project,” he said.
“Rescue must come from outside from a higher power, not material, but spiritual.”
Meanwhile, Reverend Mark Harris plans to play pop-punk music at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Lismore on Christmas Day.
Rev Harris will play Simple Plan’s song Crazy which he says is about the need to be ‘saved.’
“Some of the lyrics are: ‘People driving big SUVs while kids are starving in the streets, is everybody going crazy, is anybody going to save me?’” Rev Harris said.
“Simple Plan is right. God’s word tells us we need saving from ourselves, from our mistakes, from our greed, from our sins.”
Rev Harris will also be taking a slightly unconventional approach to his Christmas Day services by dressing as a spaceman action figure.
“I’ll be dressing up for the children as Fuzz Lightyear – a toy we’re saying is the distant relative of Buzz Lightyear (from the movie Toy Story),” he said.
Ministers from the Baptist and Presbyterian churches and the Salvation Army said they would be focusing on the Christmas story as told in the Bible.
“Our Christmas service will be a simple day of celebration,” said Pastor John Wilson from the Lismore Baptist Church.
“We will have Christmas carols and a moment of reflection to remember the original Christmas story.
“We tend to think of Christmas as the story of the ‘baby in the manger’ but we need to remember that baby was called upon to be the saviour of the world.”